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Level 4 Sports Turf (on campus)


Central Otago 

18 months full-time

On campus and practical work experience placements

Until start date
  • Location
    Study breaks
  • Central Otago
    15 February 2021
    28 June 2021 - 16 July 2021
    5 April 2021 - 16 April 2021
    27 September 2021 - 8 October 2021
  • Central Otago
    1 March 2021
    19 April 2021 - 30 April 2021
  • Central Otago
    14 February 2022
    4 July 2022 - 22 July 2022
    18 April 2022 - 29 April 2022
    3 October 2022 - 14 October 2022

This is the only full-time Sports Turf programme on offer in New Zealand! 

Sports Turf professionals are responsible for the management and maintenance of golf courses, cricket wickets, sports fields and artificial turf, among others. 

Immerse yourself in a comprehensive programme that blends theoretical knowledge with practical, hands-on experience. Study on campus and then move into your work placement, which means you can earn as you learn as some of New Zealand’s top golf and stadium venues. 

Our Sports Turf graduates are well-respected and in high demand in the industry, with most students being offered full-time positions during their work placements.

Upon successful completion, you will graduate with a New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture Services (Level 4) (Sports Turf). 

Entry requirements
  • Open entry.
  • International students will be individually assessed to ensure you are ready for this study.  
  • If English is not your first language, you must provide:

If you need to improve your English Language skills, we offer a wide range of English programmes.

Recognition of prior learning

If you have extensive knowledge and skills due to practical experience in this area, enquire about our recognition of prior learning process at Capable NZ. You may have already gained credits towards this qualification. 

Additional documentation

You must supply certified copies of proof of identify, academic records, proof of residency (where appropriate) and a curriculum vitae.

Selection procedure

Applicants will be selected according to the entry criteria. If the number of applications exceeds the number of places available, applicants will be placed on a waiting list in the order they were received. 

You will study

The courses within this programme have been designed to ensure you gain the skills to ensure excellent employment outcomes for a range of turf facilities. There are no elective courses. 

Qualification structure 

Course Title

Introduction to Sports Turf Management (30 credits)

Develop the foundation skills and knowledge required to operate safely and effectively in the sports turf industry.

Sports Turf Plant Science and Health (30 credits)

Develop the knowledge of basic plant biology, ecology, taxonomy and species relevant to sports turf management, and identify and control common sports turf pests, diseases, disorders and weeds.

Sports Turf Growing Environment (30 credits)

Develop a basic knowledge of the properties of soils and root zones; how water behaves within soils and, how to use soils and water in a sustainable way.

Routine Maintenance of Sports Turf (30 credits)

Develop knowledge and practical skills to operate and maintain common sports turf machinery, equipment and tools used in the routine maintenance of sports turf.

Renovation of Sports Turf (20 credits)

Gain practical skills to renovate sports turf to improve performance or ensure the longevity of the surface.

Sports Turf Construction and Establishment (20 credits)

Develop knowledge and skills required to survey and construct a sports turf root zone, and establish and grow-in sports turf

Supervision of Sports Turf Staff (10 credits)

Enable learners to use interpersonal communication skills to achieve desired outcomes in a sports turf organisation.

Sports Turf Management Planning (15 credits)

To enable learners to develop an annual maintenance plan for sports turf surfaces at a selected sporting venue.

Your workload

Theory and practical classes will take up four days a week from 9.00am-3.00pm. You will also have one day a week of work experience during the growing season. In Year One, there will be a full-time work experience placement from September to April. You will then return to the campus and complete the programme in late June. Generally, these days will reflect industry needs and will therefore run from 8.00am-5.00pm. You will also have assessment and study work to complete. 

Programme specific risks

These include risks associated with agri-chemicals, heat, cold, noise, lifting, machinery and potential allergens. You will be given more detailed information during the programme.  

Additional costs/requirements

During your internship placement in the second year, it is your responsibility to organise accommodation and transport, although your employer will try and help you. It is important that you hold a current driving licence and have your own work boots and overalls.

Student loans/allowances

Whilst this programme is free for you to study via the Trades and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF), this fund only covers tuition fees and compulsory costs such as student levies. It does not cover any additional costs or living costs. You can pay for additional and living costs by yourself if that is possible for you or by applying for a loan or allowance through Studylink.      

It is important to apply for your student loan/allowance at the same time as you apply for this programme, due to the length of time Studylink take to process. Loan/allowance applications can be cancelled at any time if you decide to withdraw your programme application or if it is unsuccessful. 

  • For information about student loans and allowances please visit the Studylink website 

Please note: Student Loans and Allowances and TTAF are available for domestic students only.  


While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative ONLY. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.

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